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   Re: simple question on namespaces.

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  • From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
  • To: "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@mysterylights.com>, xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 16:29:45 -0800

At 02:01 PM 28/12/00 +0000, Sean B. Palmer wrote:

>I think some of the confusion was generated from the overall concept of
>namespaces. Really it is too simple: and people expect something much more
>complex. Most of the length of the namespace spec. is how to use namespaces
>in XML, and says (*relatively*) very little about the purpose and intent of
>namespaces. Once people get to grips that a namespace is a nmae is a name,
>then we can decide what we want to *do* with the fact that our little bit
>of XML has a unique name.

Well said.  I think a helpful question is "What can you do with little
chunks of XML when they *don't* have names unique across the Net?"  The
answer is "Not much."

Hence, namespaces, and if all they ever did was provide names, that'd
be fine.  It is however fine and I think useful to argue about what
kinds of semantics are usefully associated with chunks of markup,
whether namespace provide a useful grouping mechanism in this 
respect (I think most of us agree that they do), and what some good ways
are to map from the namespace to the semantics.  I don't believe
that dereferencing the URI can be a complete solution, but I don't
think ignoring the fact that the URI can be dereferenced is very
smart either.  -Tim


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